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What the Summer Has Looked Like… Homeschool and Life Happenings

Pretty much, this has been my view much of the summer…

or this…

Let me be honest and tell you that I feel as if I have ZERO done for our upcoming school year. Being poolside weekly for meets and managing our summer swim team has taken up pretty much most of the summer (and I’m thankful we get to be a part of our kids’ passions). 

It’s been so much that I almost forgot to file our end of the year paperwork letting the county know that our kids finished up their year and they are doing fine academically. YIKES! But that was mailed yesterday and now I’m breathing a little easier. 

But next week with no swim team means zeroing in on any missing curriculum pieces, placing orders, printing like a mad-woman, and at least feeling like some prep is underway. Including cleaning out the schoolroom (which hasn’t been done since we wrapped up school in May). 

Hopefully this is helping you feel that you aren’t any more behind than others – or at least me! (grins) 

These summer updates feel like they have been pitiful, but truthfully, it’s life at the moment. We are enjoying our time off. Hanging out together. Camping. Spending time with friends (and away from online) – and I am loving that for sure. But my brain and sanity are ready to step back into the routine that our school year offers. 

How has your summer been going? 

 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings.

Fifth Grade Year in Review 2018

These wrap-up posts are a little bit late in coming, but something I still definitely want to do because we used a few new curriculum pieces this year and I’ve had some questions on how we liked it all. 

Overall, this was a definite year of growth for Kaleb, especially in the area of reading and writing. Kaleb is a kiddo that excels in math and science and could quite honestly care less about a few other areas. Over the course of the year his confidence has grown leaps and bounds, which is the most encouraging thing to see. 

 

5th Grade Homeschool Update

All that said, here’s a peek at what we are used this year and how it’s worked for us. 

Math – This is one of Kaleb’s favorite subjects (this and science). Teaching Textbooks is hands-down one of my favorite programs, especially now that they have an ONLINE VERSION, people! Math was the first subject Kaleb completed this year because he doesn’t mind working on more than one lesson some days. He even had fun helping his older siblings on some of their lessons. :) Especially when he would answer problems before they did. 

History – History ended up being so much better once we switched over to Mystery of History. Both of our boys retained more and really like the lessons so much better. We often incorporated a YouTube video with the lesson. Neither of them is thrilled with doing hands-on activities, so it was mainly reading and watching, but 100x better than how the year started! We finished off the first book and moved on to book 2 and worked through it as much as we could. 

HandwritingPrinting Power Plus was a great addition to our year. While we won’t be using the program next year, it was fabulous in helping Kaleb write smaller (and a bit more legibly). We used the keyboarding program that went along with it and he LOVED that, so we will purchase a higher level for him to work on in sixth grade.

Grammar/WritingGrowing with Grammar 5 was a daily subject and one Kaleb also finished early. We added in Soaring with Spelling this year and it was also great handwriting practice – and spelling/reading practice for him as well. This is another program we will be ordering again for next year to keep working on. 

We are definitely huge fans of WriteShop Junior as well. Next year we will include some WriteShop in our time, but are planning to switch up our curriculum in this area a bit as well (more literature-based for the year to incorporate reading and writing based on the books we read). I have some ideas for this and something we plan to use from WriteShop and will share soon!

Reading – We finished up All About Reading Level 4 – our last level!! This is bittersweet in a way for me, because this is our last kiddo to use the program. We did add in some additional books along with level 4 to round out the year, and that ended up being a great mix for him. 

Science – Kaleb’s favorite subject hands-down is science! Nancy Larson Science 4 was a great mix of reading and science for him. If you have a struggling reader, I really recommend their program since kids can follow along in their small workbooks and learn to highlight key words. It really has been good in building his confidence since he recognizes more difficult words, reads them in context, and in turn it helps boost his other reading. 

This year he had the chance to also participate in Lego League (we’ll do it again next year with the same group of boys) and he is really looking forward to working on that now that he better understands how the program works. 

We’ve been working on some robotics projects this summer from EEME (my arm has been slowing us down). I love that we can work on something simple over the summer, but it can still spark his interest and continue the learning. 

Bible – Truthfully, we didn’t work through the study I had printed off. I’ll admit that I got sidetracked with other things, but we plan to pull out the James study to work on this next year. 

Geography – This subject ended up being more included in our overall history studies than being a separate study of its own this year. As we look forward to next year, we are planning to use a Alpha Omega’s Lifepac for History/Geography that will encompass everything. 

Co-op – This was our last year doing this group co-op (a little bittersweet!!), but the boys had so much fun working on various projects together, mainly focused on science experiments and fun team-building activities (instant challenges).

Those were also wonderful to see the kids work together with a limited amount of supplies and quickly brainstorm to meet the challenge. 

Overall – another great year. We’ll definitely be tweaking some things for our sixth grade year and changing some things out (isn’t that always the case?). 

Stay tuned for updates on the other kids end of the year wrap up as well (better late than never!). 

How was YOUR year? 

Another Broken Something…Maybe – Homeschool and Life Happenings

So the weeks have been crazy-packed with lots of swim stuff happening and the girls at camp one week and the boys at camp the next. 

But they are all home now, laundry is in the wash, and I’m trying to take it easy. 

I did a little video update (below) but here are a few pictures over the last few weeks to share the basics: 

The girls spent the week at a volunteer camp and had a blast helping in the community, and enjoyed the fun nights too – they had a “decades” rollerskate night which led to the below…

Laurianna and I decided to take twinning to a whole new level. We visit the orthopedic doctor for her on Monday to find out for sure what is going on after she fell while rollerblading a little over a week ago. 

Kaleb is on his way to a stellar tan this summer thanks to a river fishing trip and wearing his swim jammers. 

Despite the 90 degree temps and all.the.sun, the boys had a great fishing trip with their Scouts troop, although they did tell me they were a bit homesick – for their beds and showers. One boy only showered once all week long and BOY COULD YOU TELL! Thank you Lord for soap, water, and deodorant. Amen. 

But – to keep it short, here’s the video update. Essentially, I got into a bit of trouble with the doctor (doing too much), I haven’t touched the schoolroom or curriculum since May 14th, and I’m learning what it means to rest…sorta.

The Broken Arm – Homeschool and Life Happenings

Typing is hard at the moment, so here’s a quick video update…

Vacation Wins – Homeschool and LIFE Happenings

This week it feels like we have been in a million different directions (which we have) and there is so much I want to share, but for now – vacation wins. And silly pictures. Because Paris was amazing, and this picture is one of my new favorites….

Tonight I’m going to sit with my family (immediate and extended) and enjoy our time together since we only have one week left before we are headed back home.

Hope you all are having an amazing week – talk to you soon! 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings. 

Our Adventure to the Netherlands Begins – Homeschool and Life Happenings

Last weekend was a flurry of last minute errand-running and making sure we had everything together for our upcoming trip. I’m so very thankful that we had some time on Monday morning to relax, recheck our packing, and clean up the house a little before we left. 

Our dog, Addie, was all over the place (especially our luggage) and in the middle of everything while we were getting ready. We have a friend staying at our house with her while we are gone, and apparently she is rather out of sorts and not very happy at the moment.

We brought lots of fun gifts to share with my cousin. She and her family are hosting us for the entire time we are staying in the Netherlands. So plenty in our suitcases on the way there! Two of ous weighed in just shy of the 50 pound limit. 

The big “discussion” on the way over was who would get to sit at the window seat, mainly because the girls wanted to take pictures out the window. The boys said they could care less, so Laurianna and McKenna switched off. 

Just as we were getting in line for takeoff on the runway, storms started rolling in. The line of clouds was crazy and within just ten minutes we could barely see out the window of the plane. Our plane ended up taking off about two hours later than expected. 

We found out later that the above is a shelf cloud – and there were some severe storms and a tornado warning in our area. This is where I will say I am thankful for the wonderful on-board entertainment KLM offers (we were on one of their newer planes) and the distraction that provided in the delay. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the trip – the boys slept ZERO minutes, so they arrived rather exhausted and konked out about 15 minutes into the two-hour car ride from Amsterdam. :) 

The first few days we spent relaxing with the kids riding bikes into town for ice cream. On Thursday we got together with one of my uncles and some of his family for lunch and then to visit a few places nearby. 

Our first stop was to visit a wooden clog (klompen) maker, Klompenmakerij ten Hagen in Winterswijk. His family has been making wooden shoes for four generations. (He told us he has three sons, so another generation can continue. :) 

We were able to watch the process from their start as a round of wood to the unfinished shoe. At this point they have to dry for several weeks. The shoes were made of either willow or poplar and damp when you touch them. 

A fun fact we learned: each klompen maker has their own pattern they add to their shoes. This is the pattern you will find on their shoes. The kids had fun trying on pairs but decided not to buy any for themselves. 

We later took a walk through a swamp area near the German border, not a common part of the Netherlands, but it was a nice walk to see some of the nature and different plants in their area. 

In a few areas there were border markers between the Netherlands and Germany, so Zachary took a quick trip to Germany while we stayed in the Netherlands. :) 

This next week we will be heading to France and Belgium with my cousin for a few days, and all the kids are looking forward to the trip. 

I hope you all are having an amazing week as well and would love to hear what you have been up to! 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings.